February 29, 2012
Law School Tuition and University Revenues, Redux
We touched on this last year, but now the facts are out: 31% of the law school's revenue at the University of Baltimore went to the university. Former Dean Closius exagerrated, but the University wildly understated the amount.
Everyone knows the U.S. News rankings are criminally unreliable...
February 28, 2012
Everyone is now familiar with the "don't go to law school" rants in cyberspace...
...but it turns out you shouldn't go to medical school either! I guess that leaves only an MBA or a PhD in philosophy.
Iowa Law Wins Age Discrimination Suit
Donald Dobkin, who sued the University of Iowa College of Law on the grounds of age discrimination, lost his case before an Iowas state jury last week. Dobkin had unsuccessfully applied for a faculty position at the age of 56. Dobkin's cv is here.
Correction: I originally stated that this case was heard by a Federal jury. In fact, the case was heard in Iowa state court.
February 27, 2012
Law Profs Comment on the Lawsuits Against Law Schools
Especially interesting observations, I thought, from Douglas Rush (Saint Louis) and Mark Gergen (Berkeley).
February 23, 2012
A Mortgage Relief Statute Drafted by Cornell's Bob Hockett...
In Memoriam: Katherine Darmer
Mary Katherine Baird Darmer, a professor at Chapman University School of Law, died this past week. Initial details are here. She was 47. Darmer was an expert in criminal law. She was also a founding member of the Orange County Equality Coaltion, a gay righs organization. A candlelight vigil will be held in Darmer's memory at 7 p.m. tonight on the front steps of Chapman School of Law.
February 22, 2012
Bloomberg Law talks to David Anziska, the Lead Lawyer in the Class Actions Against Law Schools
This is a well-done interview and also quite revealing, especially the little dance Mr. Anziska does around the reliance question. Also striking is his admission that they are, indeed, looking for a global settlement involving partial tuition reimbursement and third-party auditing of employment data reported by schools. (He doesn't mention attorney fees, but presumably he'd like that too!)
February 21, 2012
This is the last time I ever talk to anyone from The National Jurist...
...since this story about the Texas fiasco makes it sound like I was disputing Larry Sager's claim that he was using money to retain faculty. Of course he was, it just wasn't the case that I left because of financial issues. It's also a shame to see the repetition of the gender inequity canard. (Earlier coverage here and here.)
I hope The National Jurist will print a correction.
More on the Class Actions Against Law Schools
This is an informative news segment about the lawsuits, including one of the plaintiffs against John Marshall Law School, as well as Dean David Yellen of Loyola-Chicago who makes a number of good points. As Dean Yellen notes--and as a reading of the complaints (which are largely cut-and-paste jobs, sometimes with the wrong school name showing up!) reveals--it's not clear that these law schools reported anything other than what NALP required them to report (of course, if discovery reveals otherwise, those law schools are going to be, deservedly, in hot water). If that turns out to be the case, that will complicate the reliance claims: plaintiffs will probably have to show they simply would not have gone to law school at all, since it's hard to see how they were damaged if they simply would have gone to a different school reporting via the NALP standards. Class certification in these lawsuits also seems extremely unlikely, given the individual reliance claims needed to establish many of the claims, and also given the aggressive and perhaps manipulative way in which the attorneys have recruited plaintiffs (through Craig's list etc.). On the other hand, I take seriously my former colleague Mark Gergen's assessment that individual restitution claims may have merit, and be sufficient to push these lawsuits forward.
A final question, of course, given the obvious obstacles to these suits succeeding is what the plaintiff's attorneys are really after. One theory I've heard is that they're hoping that the ABA and/or AALS will broker some kind of settlement.
The good news, as Dean Yellen notes, is that the move to better reporting standards on employment data is already in process, prompted, one suspects, more by pointed inquiries from U.S. Senators than from lawsuits of dubious merit.